Centre ready to consider any proposal other than repeal of farm bills: Minister

A day before the crucial talks between the Centre and the protesting farmer unions, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said the government is ready to consider any proposal other than repeal of three farm laws, the key demand of the farmers.

Omar — who is leading the negotiations along with Food Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce Som Parkash — said he cannot say right now what would be the outcome of the January 8 meeting with 40 protesting farmer union leaders, to be held at Vighyan Bhavan at 2PM.

The minister also denied giving any proposal to Punjab’s Nanaksar Gurudwara head Baba Lakha, a renowned religious leader of the state, for ending the stalemate.

‘I cannot say anything right now. In fact, it depends on what issues that will come up for discussion in the meeting,’ Tomar told reporters when asked about the likely outcome of the January 8 meeting.

Ahead of the talks with the government, thousands of farmers on Thursday took out tractor marches from protest sites of Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders and Haryana’s Rewasan against the three agriculture laws amid heavy police deployment.